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Chicago Pride Parade Route Map 2013
The Chicago Pride Parade, also colloquially (and formerly) called the Chicago Gay Pride Parade or PRIDE Chicago, is the annual gay pride parade held on the last Sunday of June in Chicago, Illinois in the United States
By: Chicago Pride Parade
The first parade was organized on Saturday, June 27, 1970, as a march from Washington Square Park ("Bughouse Square") to the Water Tower at the intersection of Michigan and Chicago avenues, which was the route originally planned, and then many of the participants extemporaneously marched on to the Civic Center (now Richard J. Daley) Plaza. Today the parade takes place through the main streets of Lake View East, a neighborhood enclave of the Lakeview community area. Recent parades have started at noon on Halsted Street, proceeding north from Belmont Avenue, passing the Center on Halsted at Waveland Avenue; south on Broadway (at Grace Street) to Diversey Parkway and east on Diversey Parkway to Cannon Drive. The parade route will begin in the Uptown neighborhood at the corner of Broadway and Montrose. The parade will then proceed south down Broadway to Halsted, continue south on Halsted to Belmont, then east on Belmont to Broadway where it will resume its former route.
With the increasing political participation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans and the community's relatively high financial resources through political action groups and as individual donors, Illinois politicians have increased their presence at the Chicago Pride Parade. Both the Illinois Democratic and Republican parties have been heavily represented, most noticeably by former Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, and former Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, a Republican. Both had strong support from many gay and lesbian voters.
On June 28, 2009 more than 500,000 spectators watched the 40th annual Chicago Pride Parade. Among the entries were several marching bands, dance troupes, twirlers, and many political figures. The 2010 parade featured an appearance from the Chicago Blackhawks' Brent Sopel and The Stanley Cup as part of the Chicago Gay Hockey Association's float. Sopel appeared in the parade to honor Brendan Burke, the gay son of the Maple Leafs' GM Brian Burke. The 2011 parade included 250 entries and was attended by over 800,000 spectators, almost double the previous year, causing massive overcrowding and resulted in a reorganization of the parade route for the 2013 parade.